The Week in Video Games: Everyone’s Playing Among Us
If your kid started labeling everything they don’t like “sus,” they’re probably playing Among Us. Sus is the universal indicator for “suspect” in the multiplayer whodunnit game that has recently exploded in popularity.
The appeal of Among Us doesn’t come from cutting-edge graphics or high frame-rate violence. Instead, Among Us is all about deduction and social interaction. Four to ten players portray space travelers on a friendly mission, but one player is a murderous traitor, and it’s up to the rest of the group to figure out who’s the rat before they get knifed.
It’s a simple concept that you might remember playing around a table as “Werewolf” or “Mafia,” but being able to log on with friends or strangers (the game is playable cross-platform on mobile platforms and PC) is convenient and fun, and since the game is based on trickery and deduction, there’s no barrier for players who don’t have the fastest reflexes. It’s even priced right: Among Us is free for mobile and only five bucks on PC.
The Week in TV: Enola Holmes
Netflix original feature Enola Holmes was released this week, and if you have an intelligent and/or quirky kid in your life, they’ve probably already watched this movie at least eight times since it was released on Wednesday. It’s one of those films destined to be lots of young people’s favorite movie ever, trust me. Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven from Stranger Things) plays the role of Sherlock Holmes’ little sister Enola: an eccentric, resourceful teenager whose idyllic, rich-Victorian-girl life is shattered when her mother disappears. Luckily, mom leaves behind a set of cryptic clues, so Enola sets off to find her and overcome traditional gender roles along the way. Enola Holmes is entirely delightful. You’ll overdose on delight from the trailer alone.
The Week In Music: The Return Of Guitars
Don’t be surprised if your kid asks you for a guitar this Christmas. According to a recent article in TheNew York Times, the old-fashion tool of rockers and rebels is making an unexpected comeback, and it’s not being driven by Gen Xers trying to relive Nirvana’s glory-days or grey-haired blues lawyers buying $20,000 Gibsons to hang in the office. It’s all because of kids. Well, kids and COVID-19.
Industry insiders credit all the extra time they have at home for the uptick in axe sales among young people. “There was this point with my students where I could tell that numbing out on Netflix and Instagram and Facebook was just not working anymore,” guitar instructor Jensen Trani told The Times. “People could no longer go to their usual coping mechanisms. They were saying, ‘How do I want to spend my day?’”
Interestingly, guitar sales are particularly strong with girls and young women, who now make up 50 percent of new guitar sales, according to a study from guitar-maker Fender. Like all the good things in our culture, I believe this is because of the influence of Taylor Swift.
If your kid does take up the guitar, they have way more resources available than previous generations could even dream of, from totally free YouTube instructional series to “official” online instruction from Fender for a small monthly fee, to guitar teachers who will teach on Zoom or FaceTime—ask around at your local guitar retailer.
Viral Video of the Week: Uncle Roger vs Gordon Ramsay
Millions of young people watch, like, and subscribe to YouTuber Uncle Roger’s channel where he reacts to other people’s fried-rice recipes.
Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound entertaining, but trust me, you have to check out his channel if you want to see what your kids are laughing at. Start with this brutal fried-rice takedown of BBC presenter Hersha Patel’s rice-making skills.
My top viral video this week features Uncle Roger taking on the biggest whale in the cooking world: Celebrity mega-chef Gordon Ramsay. I was expecting a cross-cultural beat-down for the cranky British chef, but surprisingly, Ramsay’s recipe and technique for Indonesian style fried rice passes Uncle Roger’s exacting standards…Unlike, say, Jamie Oliver. Hai-ya.